France decries UN Security Council ‘silence’ on Syria


French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Sunday decried the “silence” of the UN Security Council on Syria’s deadly crackdown on protests, saying the situation was becoming “intolerable”.

“The massacre continues, the silence of the Security Council too. This situation is becoming intolerable,” he said at a press conference during a visit to Myanmar.

In October, Russia and China vetoed a Western draft resolution that would have condemned Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Russia later circulated an alternative that would have pointed the finger at both sides.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Sunday issued a call to Assad to stop killing his people.

The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria as Assad’s forces crack down on anti-regime protests now in their 10th month.

The government says far fewer have been killed while accusing “armed terrorist gangs” backed by foreign powers of being responsible for the violence.

“The repression has not ceased. The violence is still at work. The Arab League has given itself until January 19 to assess the situation. I strongly hope that it will make a report that is as objective as possible that it can communicate to the Security Council,” Juppe said.

“I hope like others that the Arab League does not get bogged down in its observation mission,” added the minister, whose country is a permanent member of the Security Council.

A team of Arab League monitors has been in Syria since December 26 trying to assess the regime’s implementation of the peace agreement signed by both sides aimed at ending violence in the country.

According to a UN official, 400 people have been killed since the beginning of the Arab League mission.